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Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Posted by GG Goblin On February - 10 - 2020

Hitler’s hordes of the Undead are back and only you, and up to three friends, can stop them.

 
While home consoles may have brought gaming to the masses, PC gaming really does breed the innovation that moves gaming forward. Over the years, so many highly successful titles have started out as simple spin-offs from other games, and such is the case with the Zombie Army games. Rebellion’s Sniper Elite titles, with the stalwart sniper Karl Fairburne and those excellent slow motion x-ray shots, are all well and good, but the PC exclusive Zombie Army spin-offs added yet more fun by dropping the Undead into the mix. Something this entertaining had no right remaining on PC though, and so eventually made their way onto consoles as a bundle. While this bundle of Nazi zombie shooting goodness ended with Hitler being cast into hell, it turns out that this wasn’t the end of the zombie menace. Welcome to Zombie Army 4: Dead War.

 


 
Players don’t come to the Zombie Army games for a story, they come for the x-ray head shots. Still, there is a story revolving around finding out why the undead hordes are still harassing Europe. To this end, the player will take on the role of one of four heroes, including Sniper Elite’s very own Karl Fairburne. Each of the different characters comes with their own strengths and weaknesses, from slower moving to faster healing, giving them their very own play style. The differences are minimal but, when added to the various other ways to customise the experience, will allow players to develop a character that plays to their own style.

 
So, the story is not exactly deep, but fits nicely into the overall silliness of the game. The reality is that the player will make their way through a variety of fairly linear levels, solving a few simple puzzles and wiping out loads of zombies along the way. The level design may lack the openness of Sniper Elite 4, but still manage to be relatively varied in that the scenery changes, as do the interesting things that the player can do along the way. There are masses of collectibles to find along the way, which will encourage exploring every single nook and cranny of the level.

 
Anyone who played Sniper Elite 4 will have a rough idea of what to expect in Zombie Army 4. The movement is not as smooth as anyone wants, and there is a strong emphasis on sniping the enemy. However, while the Sniper Elite games have always been about stealth and sniping enemies from a distance, the limitations of the levels do make the stealth less important. Also, the sniping is great and comes with all of the complexities that players of the series will be used to. However, more often than not the player will be faced with a vast number of enemies coming towards them. Sniping is a possibility when they are some way away, or if the player can actually get a safe place to snipe from. But the zombies will just relentlessly head towards the player, making sniping unfeasible. Fortunately, the player will have a secondary weapon and a side arm to thin out the masses. Shotguns are best when the zombies have got too close, but a machine gun is also nice, and even a pistol can get the player out of trouble. Various heavy weapons can be dropped and picked up by the player, but these have limited use and don’t turn up too often.

 


 
Having to often use these other weapons, along with the limited grenades and mines that become available, does take the attention off of the sniping. For the more cautious player, sniping will still play a role as they assess the situation and plan their assault. The sniper rifle does ridiculous amounts of damage, even before any upgrades, making it ideal for removing the more tricky zombies from the equation. There can also be environmental traps, from dropping boxes zombies, to electrocuting them, all triggered by a single, carefully placed shot. The fact of the matter is that the gun play with anything other than a sniper rifle is less precise and less enjoyable.

 
The player will find themselves mostly facing down hordes of regular, slow moving zombies. However, as the player progresses, new and more dangerous zombies will start turning up, such as exploding zombies and well-armoured zombies that will require different tactics to take down. The variety is nice, but there is nothing really that hasn’t been seen in other zombies games. Keeping things interesting, and giving the player a reason to come back over and over, are the slowly unlocked customisation options. These range from perks for different characters, to the upgrading of given weapons through skill trees that even include elemental abilities.

 
While fighting through the zombie hordes alone is perfectly acceptable, the game is set up for four-player co-op, and this is where the real fun can be found. Playing with others allows for a more tactical approach, with each player taking a role in the game to keep the action moving forward. The included horde mode, which is also genuinely fun as the players fight back wave after wave of zombies, will give a group of players a welcome break from the campaign.

 


 
Zombie Army 4: Dead War is a game that does what it says on the tin. There is a zombie army and this is war. While the game may not make any great strides in the zombie genre, it is well made and fairly substantial. Anyone who has played the previous titles, the Sniper Elite games or Rebellion’s Strange Brigade will already be prepared for the various quirks in the game. Either alone of with friends, anyone who wants to shoot zombie Nazis will find plenty to keep them going in Zombie Army 4: Dead War.

 

 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 



 

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